[Note: This is a Sponsored Guest Post contributed by Alia Goodyear of the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda, MD.]
My 4 year old amazes me — what she knows and is capable of doing. I am also amazed at how often she is insistent about something and is 100% wrong, a great reminder of how young she is in her development as a human being.
We’ve seen the push and pull around when to introduce academics to children. While the trend was younger and younger, there has been significant research showing that play-based education is best for social/emotional development, building executive functions, and developing the imagination. One recent study warns about the likelihood of an early ADHD diagnosis when the child is probably just developmentally unprepared for the curriculum.
A similar debate swirls around the use of technology in schools. Some fear that without the most advanced technology at a young age, their child might lag behind. However, not knowing what the future will bring, it is essential that we give our children the inner tools to master whatever is to come. Notable Silicon Valley leaders send their children to Waldorf schools where technology is restricted until later grades.
The Waldorf teaching philosophy is almost 100 years old and is grounded in the careful observation of each child, providing pedagogical tools for teaching the child according to their developmental stage. Waldorf educates the whole child – head, heart, and hands.
The Washington Waldorf School has served DC Metro area families for almost 50 years, providing:
- – Early Childhood education grounded in imaginative play and outdoor time – including an outdoor Kindergarten option.
– A rich Lower School (1-8) curriculum with deep roots in the humanities, arts, and sciences.
– The introduction of technology in the classroom in 6th grade with a focus on creating responsible digital citizens.
– A High School where graduates matriculate at distinguished colleges and go on to a wide range of professions.